View Full Version : Art Attack: The art of technical drawings

06-16-2017, 11:50 AM
Maybe I am too close to the subject, but I think that good technical drawings can approach the realm of art. Maybe you do, too. If you see a really cool technical drawing - perspective, blow-apart diagram, machining instructions, whatever - post it here. It would be nice if we could keep it to the old art of hand drawings. Here's a cutaway perspective of the HMS Victory:


06-16-2017, 11:53 AM
... and one of the engine in my custom bike, an old Honda 750 SOHC 4-banger:


06-16-2017, 12:49 PM
When I was in school, I used to enjoy doing perspective technical drawings.

(That was back when it was still India ink, line drawing pens and blueprints!)

A study, gleaned from the internet (Ferrari engine)


06-16-2017, 01:24 PM
I spent the first ten years of my boat design career doing mechanical drawings with pencils on paper. plastic-lead pencils on mylar, ink on paper, and ink on mylar. I don't miss bending over a drafting board all day, but I do think something has been lost in the transition to CAD.

Keith Wilson
06-16-2017, 01:40 PM
That Ferrari sketch is impressive. I used to do that kind of thing too, even some illustrations with ink. I'll see if I can find some old ones when I get home. But now you'd have to pry SolidWorks or Inventor out of my cold, dead hands. For what I do, 3D modeling is VASTLY better than the old ways.

Paul Pless
06-16-2017, 01:47 PM
does vitruvian man count as a technical drawing?


06-16-2017, 01:54 PM
Sorta, kind, yeah. But sorta more art-leaning-to-technical than technical-leaning-to-art.

06-16-2017, 02:06 PM
Here's one of my favorites:



(Richard Scarry)

06-16-2017, 02:21 PM
Cute, but not very technical...

06-16-2017, 02:28 PM
The engine is! ;)

06-16-2017, 02:31 PM
OK - you scale it off and start machining parts...

Peerie Maa
06-16-2017, 02:40 PM
I cannot find an image on line of my all time favourite, a complete set of drawings of the bisquine La Perle, published in Model Shipwright back in the day. The quality inspired me to strive to do better.

Keith Wilson
06-16-2017, 02:45 PM

06-16-2017, 02:50 PM
OK - you scale it off and start machining parts...

OK, OK - I was just adding what I thought was a bit of levity...

Not sure I'd machine off this either, but here's my motorcycle engine:


and one from the factory shop manual:


David W Pratt
06-16-2017, 02:58 PM
Very nice.
That used to be a favorite feature of mine in old Road and Track magazines; I particularly remember the Maserati Tipo 61
That sailboat hull looks like one I saw in a set that morphed into a whale

06-16-2017, 02:59 PM
ahhh... technical illustrations from back when draftsmen were gods and friskit was king!

John Meachen
06-16-2017, 05:02 PM
I offer the Cosworth DFV.


From a boat point of view,I remember Weston Farmer getting lyrical about the standard of draftsmanship shown in C.P.Kunhardt's book of small yacht designs and when our hosts re-published it I bought a copy and was suitably impressed.

Peerie Maa
06-16-2017, 05:27 PM
ahhh... technical illustrations from back when draftsmen were gods and friskit was king!

Most draftsmen can't do technical illustration. It is the perspective that makes the difference. I worked with a couple of good ones in the '70s, and remember the preprinted perspective grids that they relied on.

06-16-2017, 05:27 PM

06-16-2017, 05:45 PM
The 3/4 hull views in Chappelle's books.

06-16-2017, 06:28 PM
Anyone who loves technical drawing will enjoy "Watts My Line", about Laurie Watts. I grew up with his drawings in the British Motorcycle magazine through the 60's. The complexity of those draws used to blow me away!




john welsford
06-16-2017, 09:15 PM

That looks like "Chapman", I've got a copy and love leafing through it.

John Welsford

06-16-2017, 09:45 PM
I think that I have seen Laurie Watts' drawings before, the Bluebird illustration looks familiar.

Nick, I agree with you. I worked next-door to a wonderful technical illustrator for a while, and he used a lot of the same tools we drafties used, but didn't use them the way we did, and he used a lot more cool stuff, as well. Fascinating process to watch. I learned a lot from him, but not enough to be able to sharpen his pencils.

06-16-2017, 09:58 PM
OK - I'm stretching definitions (again), but Eric Sloane:




Wet Feet
06-17-2017, 01:15 AM

Wet Feet
06-17-2017, 01:19 AM
An Amazing Doodle Comes to Life
Whoever said doodles were trash, hasn’t seen the works of this Filipino artist yet.





Wet Feet
06-17-2017, 01:30 AM


Unfortunately the drawings for this have been lost.


Unique: The Writer designed by Pierre Jaquet-Droz in the 1770s and is believed to be the first time the act of writing was engineered.

The Writer was created by watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz in the 1770s
Mechanical boy can write a sentence of up to 40 characters

It comprises 6,000 parts and 40 replaceable interior cams that dictate the words written - meaning the machine can be 'programmed'
Some believe The Writer is the great ancestor of the modern computer

https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwiu6Zi4n8TUAhVEwbwKHZenBLoQjhwIBQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymail.co.uk%2Fnews%2Farti cle-2488165%2FThe-worlds-Mechanical-boy-built-240-years-ago-engineered-act-writing.html&psig=AFQjCNHDqik_Qoyzk287N4F4jO5V8MYfYQ&ust=1497766428931166




Duncan Gibbs
06-17-2017, 01:42 AM

Study section through gabion retaining and concrete steps for remediation of a land-slip site.

Duncan Gibbs
06-17-2017, 02:03 AM
Competition entry for Magna Carta Place in Canberra 1999 (Ink on film)


Duncan Gibbs
06-17-2017, 02:20 AM

Duncan Gibbs
06-17-2017, 02:20 AM

Duncan Gibbs
06-17-2017, 02:23 AM
New garden in Brisbane:

https://scontent-syd2-1.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/e35/19122132_1368470713239237_7084099545985974272_n.jp g
https://scontent-syd2-1.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/e35/19122178_1317039168414412_1520647228576759808_n.jp g
https://scontent-syd2-1.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/e35/19051001_1448988128455807_3909645387371118592_n.jp g
https://scontent-syd2-1.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/e35/19122388_1614792378530850_5144940473474875392_n.jp g

06-17-2017, 10:03 AM
Nice drawings, Duncan; I presume they are yours? What is the story behind drawings on yellow paper?

06-17-2017, 11:28 AM
Sometimes with a project in design development phase, or for an initial presentation, I will print/plot on Kraft paper. I used to use Squiggle (software program) to 'loosen' up the appearance of my Autocad drawings, giving them a more hand-drawn illustrative look. Certainly not "art", but it worked well once the various settings were tweaked and not over done. Haven't used it in years though. Sorry, no examples at hand.

I truly admire artful hand-drawn anything, but I've also come to appreciate well done CAD drawings as well. I transitioned from hand drafting to CAD about '90. Don't miss all the erasing I used to do.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
06-17-2017, 02:33 PM

06-17-2017, 03:47 PM
That's an interesting clutch arrangement. I have just done some reading to try to understand it further.

The illustration shows the value of a good technical drawing. I have often used exploded parts drawings where no workshop manual is available for repairs.

Duncan Gibbs
06-17-2017, 09:18 PM
Nice drawings, Duncan; I presume they are yours? What is the story behind drawings on yellow paper?
Thanks Michael!
Yellow detail paper is a nice easy media to work on and pretty standard in architecture/landscape architecture. I usually have two rolls of different sizes at hand to knock out a sketch on.

amish rob
06-17-2017, 09:43 PM
Ah, yes, that takes me back... I still really enjoy drawing fasteners. :)